I just completed my PGCE! Ask me anything. Watch

username4853508
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#1
Hi there,

I completed my (Secondary) PGCE and attained QTS on Friday (woooop!).

This time last year I had SO many questions surrounding teacher training/PGCE routes, so if anyone would like to know anything please ask and I will do my best to offer any guidance!

H
Last edited by username4853508; 3 weeks ago
0
reply
S27
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 weeks ago
#2
Congratulations!

What are your plans now? Do you want to go back to the schools you trained at?
0
reply
bamblue
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 weeks ago
#3
Hello and congrats! Did you do a PGCE on secondary or primary? I'm looking to do PGCE secondary, and I heard universities like to set school observation at a PRIMARY SCHOOL as a condition of offer. I'm confused as all unis seem to state on their websites that school observation is recommended but not a requirement, so why did they put it as a condition? I've done secondary observation, but as I'm not currently living in the UK, it will be difficult for me to come back just for primary observation. I want to know how strict are they with the primary observation thing, is it compulsory?
0
reply
username4853508
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by S27)
Congratulations!

What are your plans now? Do you want to go back to the schools you trained at?
Thank you!

I feel very fortunate to have gotten a job at a school I absolutely love... so now I'm just preparing for my September start as an NQT! The prospect feels so daunting, but I'm hoping preparation in advance will help.
0
reply
username4853508
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by bamblue)
Hello and congrats! Did you do a PGCE on secondary or primary? I'm looking to do PGCE secondary, and I heard universities like to set school observation at a PRIMARY SCHOOL as a condition of offer. I'm confused as all unis seem to state on their websites that school observation is recommended but not a requirement, so why did they put it as a condition? I've done secondary observation, but as I'm not currently living in the UK, it will be difficult for me to come back just for primary observation. I want to know how strict are they with the primary observation thing, is it compulsory?
Hello! Thank youuu!

I undertook a secondary PGCE.

The answer to your question all depends on the university you're applying to. Each university will have a different set of entry requirements. My university did in fact require two days secondary and two days primary observation, however they themselves scrapped that requirement for starters this year in an attempt to encourage more applicants/reduce any barriers to applicants.

If the university you're applying to stipulates the primary observation as a requirement and you feel you won't be able to undertake primary observations, I recommend getting in touch with the course providers and simply expressing your interests and potential means of not meeting that requirement. See what they say! In the UK there's such a shortage of teachers I think there is a general consensus to be accepting and not deter people away for not meeting such a minimal requirement in all honesty.
1
reply
Sceptical_John
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#6
Report 2 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by hnde)
Hi there,

I completed my (Secondary) PGCE and attained QTS on Friday (woooop!).

This time last year I had SO many questions surrounding teacher training/PGCE routes, so if anyone would like to know anything please ask and I will do my best to offer any guidance!

H
Congrats.

Couple of Qs. How did you find the workload - especially during the placements? Did you finish at shortly after school finishes or were there hours of paperwork to complete?

Did you find the academic work useful?
0
reply
Amanda92
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 weeks ago
#7
Congratulations!

What subject are you going to teach in? How much and what sort of schools/teaching type experience did you have to get only the PGCE?
0
reply
username4853508
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by Sceptical_John)
Congrats.

Couple of Qs. How did you find the workload - especially during the placements? Did you finish at shortly after school finishes or were there hours of paperwork to complete?

Did you find the academic work useful?
Thank you!

The workload whilst at uni wasn't anything at all really. Yes, there were readings, but nothing in comparison to the volume you have to read at UG/taught Masters level. That being said, this is namely because the uni assignment deadlines always fell during placement.

The workload during placement is a lot, but this is highly influenced by your school/mentor/classes etc. Everyone on my PGCE feels their life has been put on hold this academic year simply because of the all-consuming workload. As a trainee on a PGCE you need to complete in-depth written plans, differentiation schemes and evaluations for every lesson (nightmare - praise that doesn't need to be done during NQT), but in terms of placement-related work there isn't really a lot of 'paperwork' so to speak, it's more so planning lessons, constructing schemes of work and lesson resources, marking etc.

During my first placement I would leave school around 4pm, get home around 5:30pm, take an hour out to shower, eat and unwind a little before planning lessons and other things until 9pm at night. For my own sanity, I would ensure I always had at LEAST half a weekend day to relax, but at least one weekend day would be full of uni assignment-related work/lesson adaptations/marking.

During my second placement, I would arrive to school at 7:00AM and leave at 16:00, to work at home until 19:00PM. This worked well for me as I concentrate better in a quite environment, but others in the department (non-trainees) would stay to varying times between 16:00 or 18:00. I undertook far more of a pastoral role in this second placement which meant I was literally 100% focused/doing important stuff literally 07:00-16:00 at school, meaning I had little time to conduct lesson planning or marking during the day. Again - this ties back to my point that it does depend on your school/mentor. You may be heading to a placement school that is changing curriculum and thus more work is needed to develop their units of work, or you may go to a school that is high in SEN/D pupils and require your attention towards differentiation.

Most of the time I found the evidence elements a burden (plans, differentiation, evaluations, reports, research) as they were just so time consuming in the face of the 'teacher-y stuff' I wanted to do, however I do feel that they were worth-while. I do think it offers a more enriching reflection upon your own practice, thus helping you to improve at a more rapid rate. Beyond that - I did find certain areas of the academic work useful, yes, and overall I am pleased I undertook a PGCE over another non-university based route, however I would agree with anyone in saying that you definitely don't need a PGCE as it's only really QTS that matters at the end of the day.

I know I've gone quite in-depth there... I hope that helps somewhat!
1
reply
username4853508
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by Amanda92)
Congratulations!

What subject are you going to teach in? How much and what sort of schools/teaching type experience did you have to get only the PGCE?
Thank you!!

Geography.

I had had no prior experience working with children or within a school environment before undertaking the four day (two-day primary and two-day secondary) school observations that were an entry requirement to my course.
0
reply
bamblue
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#10
Report 2 weeks ago
#10
Thanks
(Original post by hnde)
Hello! Thank youuu!

I undertook a secondary PGCE.

The answer to your question all depends on the university you're applying to. Each university will have a different set of entry requirements. My university did in fact require two days secondary and two days primary observation, however they themselves scrapped that requirement for starters this year in an attempt to encourage more applicants/reduce any barriers to applicants.

If the university you're applying to stipulates the primary observation as a requirement and you feel you won't be able to undertake primary observations, I recommend getting in touch with the course providers and simply expressing your interests and potential means of not meeting that requirement. See what they say! In the UK there's such a shortage of teachers I think there is a general consensus to be accepting and not deter people away for not meeting such a minimal requirement in all honesty.
0
reply
MJ16
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#11
Report 2 weeks ago
#11
Congrats on finishing your PGCE!

I've always been a nervous presenter (ironic considering i want to go into teaching i know) and just wanted to know how you felt teaching for the first time during your PGCE and how it went?

Thanks!
0
reply
Sceptical_John
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#12
Report 2 weeks ago
#12
(Original post by hnde)
Thank you!

The workload whilst at uni wasn't anything at all really. Yes, there were readings, but nothing in comparison to the volume you have to read at UG/taught Masters level. That being said, this is namely because the uni assignment deadlines always fell during placement.

The workload during placement is a lot, but this is highly influenced by your school/mentor/classes etc. Everyone on my PGCE feels their life has been put on hold this academic year simply because of the all-consuming workload. As a trainee on a PGCE you need to complete in-depth written plans, differentiation schemes and evaluations for every lesson (nightmare - praise that doesn't need to be done during NQT), but in terms of placement-related work there isn't really a lot of 'paperwork' so to speak, it's more so planning lessons, constructing schemes of work and lesson resources, marking etc.

During my first placement I would leave school around 4pm, get home around 5:30pm, take an hour out to shower, eat and unwind a little before planning lessons and other things until 9pm at night. For my own sanity, I would ensure I always had at LEAST half a weekend day to relax, but at least one weekend day would be full of uni assignment-related work/lesson adaptations/marking.

During my second placement, I would arrive to school at 7:00AM and leave at 16:00, to work at home until 19:00PM. This worked well for me as I concentrate better in a quite environment, but others in the department (non-trainees) would stay to varying times between 16:00 or 18:00. I undertook far more of a pastoral role in this second placement which meant I was literally 100% focused/doing important stuff literally 07:00-16:00 at school, meaning I had little time to conduct lesson planning or marking during the day. Again - this ties back to my point that it does depend on your school/mentor. You may be heading to a placement school that is changing curriculum and thus more work is needed to develop their units of work, or you may go to a school that is high in SEN/D pupils and require your attention towards differentiation.
have to admit that workload at your placements sounds a little alarming. How long does that sort of typical day go on for before it settles down I wonder? Although I don't consider myself a slacker by any measure however in my previous jobs I've never considered myself 'busy' as in I would finish more or less on time and not have take-home work to do. It's going to be a culture change for sure.
Last edited by Sceptical_John; 2 weeks ago
0
reply
tinydancer8
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#13
Report 2 weeks ago
#13
Congratulations!
Did you do direct program or university path? May I asked where were you studying at? Would you recommend any university/program? I’m trying to apply for Sep2019 and I’m still not sure what to choose. How was your application process? Any advices on what to put most focus on? And how are kids at secondary ? Is it hard to keep the discipline?
0
reply
airfixfighter
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#14
Report 2 weeks ago
#14
(Original post by Sceptical_John)
have to admit that workload at your placements sounds a little alarming. How long does that sort of typical day go on for before it settles down I wonder? Although I don't consider myself a slacker by any measure in my previous jobs I've never considered myself 'busy' as in I would finish more or less on time and not have take-home work to do. It's going to be a culture change for sure.
Just going to butt in! I've just finished my PGCE secondary as well, and that level of work doesn't reflect my experience. So I think it's very dependent on your university/schools. I would arrive at school for 8am and get ready for the day, then I would usually leave at 3:30 if there wasn't any meetings/training. I would usually have a break until after dinner and then do some work for an hour or so. I would then do maybe half a day on the weekends? I would utilise all my time at school to do my work. I was only teaching maximum 60% of a timetable so you have plenty of school time!

The biggest workload is the fact that uni deadlines are always when you're in school. But I had three assignments over the whole year so it's not all the time. For each lesson, I had to prepare an in depth lesson plan highlighting differentiation, assessment for learning and what I and the pupils would be doing at all times. After, I would have to write a reflection on the lesson. Each week I had to do a larger weekly reflection, and have a mentor meeting where we discussed my progress etc.
0
reply
Sceptical_John
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 weeks ago
#15
(Original post by airfixfighter)
Just going to butt in! I've just finished my PGCE secondary as well, and that level of work doesn't reflect my experience. So I think it's very dependent on your university/schools. I would arrive at school for 8am and get ready for the day, then I would usually leave at 3:30 if there wasn't any meetings/training. I would usually have a break until after dinner and then do some work for an hour or so. I would then do maybe half a day on the weekends? I would utilise all my time at school to do my work. I was only teaching maximum 60% of a timetable so you have plenty of school time!

The biggest workload is the fact that uni deadlines are always when you're in school. But I had three assignments over the whole year so it's not all the time. For each lesson, I had to prepare an in depth lesson plan highlighting differentiation, assessment for learning and what I and the pupils would be doing at all times. After, I would have to write a reflection on the lesson. Each week I had to do a larger weekly reflection, and have a mentor meeting where we discussed my progress etc.
Thanks for posting your experience. It's probably largely down to 'luck of the draw' and to some extent I've accepted the next 10 months are going to be tough and I'm getting a substantial bursary for the pleasure. I'm more wary of is that what it's going to be like forever? So much bad news about teacher workloads in the press. It's something I'm going to ask in interviews when I'm looking for a job.

As per the assignments, I heard somewhere they are either pass/fail at 50% and not like UG where you could 2:1 etc. Was that the case for you?
0
reply
georgem93
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 weeks ago
#16
Snap!!
Secondary science (biology specialism)
0
reply
username4853508
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#17
(Original post by MJ16)
Congrats on finishing your PGCE!

I've always been a nervous presenter (ironic considering i want to go into teaching i know) and just wanted to know how you felt teaching for the first time during your PGCE and how it went?

Thanks!
Thanks so much!

As someone who has suffered very bad anxiety when presenting in the past, this too was a worry for me heading into training! The first time I stood in front of a class I was wrongly thrown in, without warning or any time for prep or even knowing what the lesson was about by an NQT+1. It was introducing a lesson and I mixed up all my words, sweated so much I wondered if these children were wondering if I had swam to the lesson and had a big panic afterwards. It was awful.

HOWEVER, the first time I taught my own lesson (literally the day after) and had had the opportunity to look at seating plans, books to see where they left off the previous lesson and formatted my own slides, it was a breeze. You feel less like you're presenting and more like you're performing if that makes sense. Suddenly, you have thirty children intrigued by who you are and what you're going to say and instinct stops you from having any visible panic/nervousness as you don't want them to feel panicked or nervous. I was still nervous, but as each lesson passes confidence builds so quickly.

Personally, I think being a nervous presenter ensured I planned better lessons and was more reflective upon my practice. My advise would be - it only gets better, and teachers who have been teaching for 30 years still mess up or get nervous at times so don't take it to heart like I did at first.
1
reply
username4853508
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#18
(Original post by Sceptical_John)
have to admit that workload at your placements sounds a little alarming. How long does that sort of typical day go on for before it settles down I wonder? Although I don't consider myself a slacker by any measure however in my previous jobs I've never considered myself 'busy' as in I would finish more or less on time and not have take-home work to do. It's going to be a culture change for sure.
Again, like I said in my original post it really does depend on the school and/or mentor you get. Generally, trainees aren't expected to hold pastoral/extra-curricular/SEN/D parental responsibilities that I took on which did up my workload. There were some in the same subject and course as me who worked longer hours due to their schools needing new schemes of work, changing curriculum styles etc. and those who worked a lot less hours because they were placed in schools that didn't need any extra input. I'm unsure of how workloads change between universities but at mine literally everyone had a very similar experience, their time was just being pulled in different ways.

In addition, I will point out that your attitude to work can also contribute majorly to the number of hours you spend. During first placement I was a perfectionist which is not something I would advise because I could have saved a lot of hours. That being said, spending that time really breaking everything down meant I delivered outstanding-rated lessons very early on. Was it needed? Definitely not (probably should have highlighted that in my original post, sorry). Did it aid my confidence and grades? Yes.
0
reply
username4853508
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#19
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#19
(Original post by tinydancer8)
Congratulations!
Did you do direct program or university path? May I asked where were you studying at? Would you recommend any university/program? I’m trying to apply for Sep2019 and I’m still not sure what to choose. How was your application process? Any advices on what to put most focus on? And how are kids at secondary ? Is it hard to keep the discipline?
Hi there, thank you!

I went down the university path I'm not going to share my university here just because I want to leave commentary open and be non-specific, but in terms of recommendations I would instantly advise you only consider location that is convenient to you and your lifestyle. Where can you get to easily? Are you able to get there in time for a 9AM lecture start if you have children that need dropping off at school in the morning etc. I originally considered universities that were an hour and half train journey away which would not have suited me at ALL, particularly during placement when hours and work demands stepped up. A lot of placement schools that are linked with university programmes are generally located within a certain distance from the university which is something to consider as well.

My application process was quite linear. I applied to three universities (that was the maximum for 2018 entry, I'm not sure if that's changed) in June, all got back to me requesting GCSE Science, Math and English certificates and I was invited for interview. Two of these were in the location I soon deemed to be too far and were backups to my original top choice so that's the first interview I booked. I found out I had been accepted the day after and was soon sent a pre-reading list and an occupational health form to fill.

With regards to your focus question - is this in terms of application or workload?

Different locations and different schools have an abundance of differing types of children within them. In general, I've never faced extremely bad behaviour, but I have experienced bad behaviour. All schools have different behaviour management strategies and policies in place, but at the end of the day it falls down to the teacher in the front of a room/in a hallway etc. to have that control needed. If you have a good presence, present yourself well and treat children with respect they will mostly respect you.
0
reply
username4853508
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#20
(Original post by airfixfighter)
Just going to butt in! I've just finished my PGCE secondary as well, and that level of work doesn't reflect my experience. So I think it's very dependent on your university/schools. I would arrive at school for 8am and get ready for the day, then I would usually leave at 3:30 if there wasn't any meetings/training. I would usually have a break until after dinner and then do some work for an hour or so. I would then do maybe half a day on the weekends? I would utilise all my time at school to do my work. I was only teaching maximum 60% of a timetable so you have plenty of school time!

The biggest workload is the fact that uni deadlines are always when you're in school. But I had three assignments over the whole year so it's not all the time. For each lesson, I had to prepare an in depth lesson plan highlighting differentiation, assessment for learning and what I and the pupils would be doing at all times. After, I would have to write a reflection on the lesson. Each week I had to do a larger weekly reflection, and have a mentor meeting where we discussed my progress etc.
Congratulations and thank you for contributing to the thread!

It is really difficult to express that it's hard to predict what workload will be like as it does vary so much. My uni course required 60% teaching, 20% observation reports/SEN assistance and I filled the other 20% with undertaking extra curricular responsibilities and pastoral duties which is why I ended up doing a lot of the uni write ups/uni research project work/lesson planning once the school day had ended. I hadn't considered that the format of the day might vary between unis until your post so that's pretty insightful!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you tempted to change your firm university choice now or on A-level results day?

Yes, I'll try and go to a uni higher up the league tables (125)
19.72%
Yes, there is a uni that I prefer and I'll fit in better (59)
9.31%
No I am happy with my course choice (357)
56.31%
I'm using Clearing when I have my exam results (93)
14.67%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise